Front or rear spray booms?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by JLC, Aug 2, 2001.

  1. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Messages: 467

    It seems that alot of the spray units available of late (permagreen/zspray) have the spray booms in the front of the operator such that the tires track through the spray and you are driving into it. Does this have an impact of the effectiveness of the application. It seems all of the golf course type sprayers have the booms in the back. I would think this would give a more effective application and reduce operator exposure. I like how you can see what you are doing with the front booms though. Any thoughts?
  2. turfman99

    turfman99 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 212

    Spray booms in the front are a safety hazard. They allow the operator to come into continual contact with the applied material. They allow the tires to run over foliage that has pesticide applied to it and the tires have to remove some of the material.

    The only spray units advertised that I see that have booms on the front are those ones that go on some mower units.

    Almost all commercial units, as you said, have the booms in the rear, behind the operator and applying the product to foliage without it being wiped off.

    A friend of mine had booms on the front of a large (30 foot ) unit to spray wheat with broadleaf herbicides and changed them after two days. One day to apply and one day in the hospital.

    We build our own units so we configure them any way we want to.

    Dale Wiley
    Oregon Licensed Applicator and Consultant.
  3. Greg Amann

    Greg Amann LawnSite Member
    Messages: 162

    We have used a Pro-max for the last 2 & 1/2 years and have had no problems. The spray tips are about 12 inches off the ground. The booms spray up to 12 feet wide. They are in 3 four foot sections and each section has its own valve. My partner uses the rig to treat larger properties and I use a truck mounted unit with 300 feet of hose for smaller ones. I believe I have more exposure dragging hose with a turf wand than he gets using the rig. We stay with products that are on the least toxic side to keep exposure problems to a minimum. As for the tires removing product, no seeable problems from that either.
    The booms on the front make the jobs go by faster especially on jobs where the yard has alot of obstacles. The unit is a zero turn ratio and is very easy to get around on. Anyway, my 2 cents.
  4. get rich

    get rich LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    i operate a z-spay on a daily basis and i've yet to make a visit to the hospital,the z-spray's boom is only 12-15 inches off the ground and use a high pressure tips,let alone you stand on the machine,so your up pretty high and moving at a pretty good rate of unless it's a really hot day(you should't be spraying anyways)it really doesn't rise that much.the z-spray is a wright stander machine,so you actually stand up on it.your quite a ways away from the for the tires riding on the chemical,i've never had a problem with killin those darn other words,GREAT MACHINE,GREAT RESULTS!!!!
  5. turfman99

    turfman99 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 212

    I know the z type untis are quite popular in the east and midwest areas. We have just never seen them out here. The hospital reference I made was for spraying broadleaf in wheat, when an ester formulation is used. Totally different than the applications we are talking about.

    I use a Toro Sand Pro with a tank and rear mounted boom and have no trouble getting in tight spots. I use the lowest possible pressures and avoid the windy times. I am setting up a Kawaski to pull a towable unit and also have a 25 gallon unit on it.

    I agree, that your exposures are probably greater pulling hose and spraying that way, but most of the stuff we all use is pretty low toxicty.
  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I built my own for my Walker and for many reasons I chose to mount it behind me.
    Exposure to any chemical over time is detrimental to your health -PERIOD. I want to be as safe as possible and I don't take chances with any chemical. I also believe that if you have a front mount you have more of a chance to spread chemicals where they are not desired by tracking onto walks and drives where it is not needed. I also believe that lots of chemical clings to parts of the tractor if it is front mount. I don't need extra corrosion or extra work rinsing the unit off at the end of the day.

    My Opinion is spray it out the back, in the long run it is the safest and most responsible thing to do.
  7. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    The only one I would use out front is the shielded sprayers made for Walker and Grasshopper mowers, maybe others ? You take your deck off and mount it out front. No drift with these. I think the website is

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